Many Republicans in Washington have come out in support of a moratorium on earmarks, but it remains to be seen if the earmarks will stop, or government spending will decline.
The GOP could block earmarks coming out of the House when it takes control of that chamber next year. In the Senate, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has reversed his position, and is calling for a moratorium in his caucus.
But Third District Congressman John Yarmuth says he thinks a complete moratorium is unlikely. It would give the executive branch total control of appropriations, he says, and that would slow down the flow of money, as federal agencies seek to award grants to projects that would otherwise have received earmarks.
“Kentucky has always done fairly well, but then, Kentucky has done well because of the earmark process,” he says. “That’s a concern 435 members of congress now have.”
Senate Democrats have not backed a moratorium, and Yarmuth says that body could still send appropriations bills that include earmarks to the House for approval.